Social media is one of the fastest evolving media channels in society. Tools and methods seem to success each other at ever increasing rates, making it difficult to stay on top of the latest, even for the social media savvy readers of this blog. In the space community this evolution has largely been driven by NASA. After organizing the first space-related tweetup at JPLin January of 2009, NASA continued to embrace and include the social media community in its public outreach and communication strategy. Continue reading
Fifty things to do before you’re 11 and three quarters. This is the title of a bucket list for children by the UK’s National Trust (@nationaltrust). Besides being a great inspiration for kids at an age that they never know what to do, it serves as a signal for parents that many children are raised as couch potatoes. Children lose touch with the outdoors, don’t know where their food comes from, and become afraid to get their hands dirty. So with a list of 1) climbing a tree, 2) running down a really big hill, 3) camp out in the wild and 47 other cool activities, kids are stimulated to get out there and be inspired by nature. Continue reading
Space events are everywhere. But even the more seasoned space enthusiast will not easily end up at a zoo. Yesterday Artis Amsterdam Zoo organized a live inflight call with ESA astronaut André Kuipers. As it happens, André Kuipers is a fan and ambassador of the zoo. He even took the zoo mascotte ‘Artis de Marsis’ up into the ISS with him. To honor this good relationship between the zoo and ‘its’ astronaut, the zoo organized a live connection with ISS for zoo friends and local schools. Continue reading
Extreme weather no objection for Soyuz
Circumstances at Baikonur were perfect when cosmonaut André Kuipers was launched into space last December: Temperatures around -30 degrees Centigrade and crystal clear skies. Why do the Russians continue using their remote base in the middle of Kazachstan’s endless steppe? Continue reading
Ruimtevaart wordt anno 2012 grotendeels door overheden gemanaged. De grote bekende projecten worden aangestuurd door de nationale en internationale ruimtevaart organisaties zoals NASA en ESA. Vanwege deze duidelijke link met de politiek zijn ruimtevaart organisaties voor hun voortbestaan afhankelijk van politieke kleur van overheden en de mening van de kiezer. Continue reading
After the great success of the first European #SpaceTweetup, a bunch of European spacetweeps, led by DLR social media editor @HenningKrause, decided to start the new year with a new tweetup. More a networking event than a tweetup, it became the sequel to #SpaceKoelsch. Last September this was the pre-party to the ESA/DLR #Spacetweetup. Now the event in a typical Cologne beerhall became the main event itself. #SpaceKoelsch 2 was born! Continue reading
Triggered by the Space 2.0 LinkedIn group I wrote this blog post, investigating what 2.0 means in space exploration. It is interesting to see the 2.0-hype spread over all aspects of society these days. It is being used for anything slightly futuristic, regardless whether it is really something new. And with the widespread of the term 2.0, newer developments are now slated 3.0 or even higher. So what is ‘Space 2.0′ really? Continue reading
Een typisch oudejaarsblog, zo op de laatste dag van het jaar. Nog even terugkijken voordat we met goede moed aan een nieuw jaar beginnen. Voor mij was 2011 het jaar van de herontdekking van mijn ruimtevaartpassie. Als kleine jongen was ik gefascineerd door de ruimtevaart. De lancering van de eerste Space Shuttle in 1981 was het hoogtepunt van deze periode en ook de SpaceLab missie van Wubbo Ockels in 1985 staat me nog duidelijk voor ogen. Daarna werd ik zo afgeleid door dingen als puberteit, studiekeuze, carrière en gezin, dat de ruimtevaart naar de achtergrond verdween.
More launch pads, SoyuzTweetup and a Launch!
Baikonur, 21 December 2011 – Finally. Today is the day we have been living up to for a long time. The launch of Soyuz TMA-03M, with ‘the’ Dutch astronaut André Kuipers on board. It is still dark outside when I wake up around 8 o’clock. Today our program consists of two major visits. First we will go to the furthest launch location at the cosmodrome: the Proton launch facility. Then we have some time in the city before going to launch pad 1 for the launch in the early evening.
Launch Pads, Shuttles and Public Outreach
Baikonur, 20 December 2011 – After breakfast at our hotel we are greeted again by our guide Elena and driver Said. The uncomfortable van is heated up and waiting for us, this time with the Tsenki security lady already inside. When we leave she hands us two “cosmodrome rules” forms and asks us to sign a list with our names on it. No idea why this was not needed yesterday, but we happily comply. We are waved past the city exit checkpoint, and easily pass the cosmodrome entrance checkpoint. Then again a long empty road to the cosmodrome facilities. This time we go straight on, towards the far end of this middle section at site 250. This launch pad is no longer active, but of great historical importance, as it was built for the Russian space shuttle Buran in the 1980’s.